Sunday, May 28, 2017

Inger, Inga, and the Family on the Aursland Farm



My great-grandmother, Inger Nielsdatter Oritzland (1838-1924) had a younger sister named Inga (1848-1931). Growing up in the same house, I'm sure there was more than occasional confusion...


Yes, Mama?

No, I was calling for Inga!


I am guessing that they were close, for years later when Inger, widowed with seven children, decided to move the family to America, Inga came with them. However, after coming to America, Inger moved to Minnesota while Inga stayed in Iowa, and no family stories about her have been passed down. So I was excited to make some discoveries. You can read about them here. But for now, back to Inger and Inga. 

Their parents were Nils Nilsson and Astrid Torgersdatter, owners of the Aursland farm in the parish of Tysvær in southwestern Norway. At some point, the family name evolved into Oritzland and Øritzland. (And for those in the family who came to America, the name further morphed into Orsland.) The family that remained in Norway later moved from the farm to the nearby town of Haugesund, south of Bergen. (Marilyn Monroe’s father came from the area, and there is a statue of her in the Haugesund harbor.)

Haugesund in the west, Aursland farm in the center, and the Håvik farm just to the north

As farm owners, they were in a class well above that of the lowly tenant farmer. When Inger married my tenant farmer great-grandfather, Torbjørn Andorsen in 1862, she took quite a step down the social ladder. She moved from what would have been a relatively nice home to a small, two-room, dirt-floored cottage called Grasdalen, part of the larger Håvik farm, where Torbjørn lived and worked. She must have married for love!

Grasdalen on the Håvik farm

During our visit in August 2016, my sister Jeanne and I were taken to visit the Aursland farm. The original buildings are gone, but new ones have been built upon the foundations of the old.

The stream beside the house, their source of fresh water

Stone shingles from the original farm house


Here is the entry, first in Norwegian, then my translation in English, for Nils’ and Astrid’s family, found in the parish’s bygdebok (farm book). 

A few editorial notes: 

- Inger is listed both here and on her baptismal record as Ingrid.
- The location listed next to the birth year could is sometimes the birthplace, but is often simply where they lived at the time that the history was captured.
Judging by what is included and not included, I am guessing that this information was collected and written down sometime before Inger's emigration in 1889.

Tysvær: Gard og ætt, Vol. 5, p. 459
Farm: Aursland

21. Nils Nilsson f. 1797 på Aursland (10g), d. 1865, g. 1. 1826 m. Ingrid Knutsdatter f. 1803 på Nes (16b), d. 1833, g. 2. 1837 m. Astrid Torgersdatter f. 1811 på Romsaland (32g).

Born av 1. ekteskap:
a.  Marta f. 1828, d. 1828 (8 dagar).
b.  Nils f. 1830, USA, gm. Gurina Nilsdatter Eilerås.
c.  dødfødd gutebarn f. 1833, d. 1833.

Born av 2. ekteskap:
d.  Ingrid f. 1838, Grasdalen u. Håvik (54).
e.  Torger f. 1840, Haugesund, g.1.m. Sina Helene Nilsdtr, 2.m. Gustava Garvik.
f.  Erik f. 1842, Haugesund, gm. Lene Johanna Torsteinsdatter Mykje.
g.  Sigve f. 1845, Haugesund, gm. Alis Torbjørnsdatter Eikeskog.
h.  Inga f. 1848, Haugesund.
i.  Bård f. 1851, flytta i 1867 til Haugesund.
j.  Åsa f. 1854, Haugesund.

Skøyte 1825, skifte 1834.

Astrid Torgersdatter flytta som enkje i 1865 til Haugesund. Der budde ho framleis ti år seinare, som folgekone og med «underhold af Søn». Ti år deretter igjen, i 1885, budde ho hjå sonen Sigve i Møllerveien i Haugesund.


21.  Nils Nilsson was born in 1797 at the Aursland farm (10g), and died in 1865. He was first married in 1826 to Ingrid Knutsdatter, who was born in 1803 at the Nes farm (16b), and died in 1833. Nils married a second time in 1837 to Astrid Torgersdatter, born in 1811 at the Romsaland farm (32g).

Children from the first marriage:
a.  Marta, born and died in 1828, after having lived only eight days
b.  Nils, born in 1830, moved to USA, married Gurina Nilsdatter Eilerås
c.  Stillborn boy, born and died in 1833

Children from the second marriage:
d.  Ingrid, born in 1838, later lived at Grasdalen, part of the Håvik farm (54)
e.  Torger, born in 1840, Haugesund, married first to Sina Helene Nisdatter, married a second time to Gustava Garvik
f.  Erik, born in 1842, Haugesund, married Lene Johanna Torsteinsdatter Mykje
g.  Sigve, born in 1845, Haugesund, married Alis Torbjørnsdatter Eikeskog
h.  Inga, born in 1848, Haugesund
i.  Bård, born in 1851, moved in 1867 to Haugesund
j.  Åsa, born in 1854, Haugesund

A property deed was filed in 1825, and probate occurred after Nils’ death in 1834.

Astrid Torgersdatter moved as a widow in 1865 to Haugesund.  She was still living there ten years later as a pensioner and was “taken care of by her son.” Another ten years later, in 1885, she was with her son Sigve in Møllerveien in Haugesund.

Here's more about the family. It is assumed that each child was born at the Aursland farm. They were all baptized at the nearby Skjold Kirke. The church building from their time is gone now, replaced by one newer. However, they have thankfully kept the foundation of the original. It was very moving to walk up those stairs, knowing that generations of my family had regularly walked them, marking major life events - baptisms, marriages, and deaths.

Nils Nilsson (1797-1837)

Born to Nils Olson (1758-1834) and Inga Eriksdatter (1764-1806) on the Grinde farm in Tysvær parish, Rogaland County, Norway. 
[Reference: Tysvær: Gard og ætt, Volume 5, p. 456]

Astrid Torgersdatter Romsaland (1811-1894)

One of nine children born to Torger Kistoffersen Romsaland (1768-1845) and Åsa Sigvesdatter (1774-1853) on the Romsaland farm in Tysvær parish, Rogaland County, Norway. 
[Reference: Tysvær: Gard og ætt, page 83] 

The Romsalands seem to have been a prominent farm-owning family. We visited the Romsaland farm in August 2016.

d. Inger Nilsdatter Oritzland (1838-1924)

Born on 19 August 1838 and baptized at the Skjold Kirke on 2 September 1838 (line 22 on the parish record, below). 

She was confirmed on 31 October 1852 (line 27, below). 

e. Torger Nilssen Øritzland

Born on 26 August 1840 and baptized on 30 August 1840 (line 24, below). 

He married Sina Helene Nilsdatter on 13 October 1883, and together they had six children. Sina died in 1895, and Torger later married Gustava Olsen, with whom he had four more children.

He died on 23 January 1926, and is buried in Haugesund.

f. Erik Nilssen Oritzland (b. 1842)

Born on 24 August 1842 and baptized on 16 October (line 20, below).

Erik married Lena Johanna Torsteinsdatter (1846-1922) on 26 November 1875 in Haugesund. They had three children.

g. Sigve Nilssen Oritzland (1845-1898)

Was born on 5 July 1845 and baptized on 27 July (line 22, below).

He married Alice Torbjørnsdatter Eikeskog (1851-1907), and they had eight children. One of them, Ditlef Moller Oritzland (1893-1952) came to America and for a time, lived with my grandparents, Charles and Pauline Hovick, at their farm in Madison, Minnesota. Moller, as he was called, ended up marrying a granddaughter of Inger's, making them not only man and wife, but first cousins once removed.

Sigve died in 1898 in Haugesund.

h. Inga Nilsdatter Oritzland (1848-1931)

Born on 8 March 1848 and baptized on 25 April (line 15, below).

For much more on her life, read Great-Aunt Inga - Love in Her 40's.

i. Bård Nilssen Oritzland (1851-1927)

Born on 12 February 1851 and baptized on 23 February (line 2, below).

Bård was the first of the entire family to immigrate to the United States, which he did in 1872 at the age of 21. On 12 March 1885, he married Martha Emily Buland (1859-1919). They settled in Buena Vista County in NW Iowa. When Inger's family, along with Inga, came over between 1886-1889, they first came to live with Bård, who by that time changed his name to Barney Orsland. I need to do some focused research on his life and see what else I can turn up. He died on 27 March 1927.

j. Åsa Nilsdatter Oritzland (1854-1935)

Born on 11 November 1854 and baptized on 16 November (line 12, below).

The only photo that we have of any of Inger and Inga's siblings is this one of Åsa, taken in Haugesund. 

She married Sivert Brogenvik at some point, and passed away in 1935.

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